Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blogging and the English Language

Robert McCrum misuses Orwell to damn blogging with faint praise. He concludes,

From the Orwellian point of view, it is the violence the internet does to the English language as much as its challenge to the journalistic infrastructure that is the biggest anxiety.

Leaving aside the fine writers, poets, academics, journalists and unpublished aspirants who blog, has he ever read any post-modernist theory? Even the worst blogger is an amateur compared to that systematic attempt at Englishicide.


Anonymous said...

Is it not perhaps possible that some of the journalists who write this sort of thing - I think there is a book arguing something similar out at present - are just a touch worried that their status is threatened? Anyone with a bit of time and initiative can easily find some rather good writing and commentary in the Blogosphere. There is rubbish too, but then there is in the "professional" media as well. And does the professional media always get it right? I remember many years ago the scales falling from my eyes when I read a right wing commentator who is still writing today, and noting her comment that the workshy were claiming Supplmentary Benefit from the Social Services. Great win today. And I stand by comment that Patrick Geddes would be a blogger if he were alive and well.

Anonymous said...

I would say that blogging helps good writing, of the expository sort anway. Some of the better bloggers write very well and if their arguments are unclear or illogical or based on disputed facts their commenters will let them know. Even in a comments box if you don't make yourself clear other commenters will come down on you.

I think Orwell is the patron saint of many of the political bloggers, who seem to be influenced by his essay Politics and the English Language. He is a good influence on the whole for clarity and easy readability though I think this is limiting what prose can do.